Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dec. 2012 HDD in Big 10 country

Winter temperatures have arrived across much of the Midwest in the last third of this month, but most locations will still have average temperatures well above normal for December. One simple method of measuring how "cold" it has been in a location is to use heating degree days (HDD). The warm season equivalent is known as cooling degree days (CDD). HDD's and CDD's are calculated by taking the difference in a mean daily temperature (mean of daily maximum temperature and daily minimum temperature) from a base temperature of 65°F. For example, yesterday in Lincoln the daily max. was 28°F and the daily min. was 2°F, giving a daily mean temperature of 15°F. Thus, 65-15 = 50 HDD. The daily record for HDD's in Lincoln was set way back on February 11, 1899 when the daily average temperature was -20°F, yielding 85 HDD's. As mentioned earlier, temperatures have been mild this month (especially in the first week), and most locations are running behind average on mean temperature and accumulated HDD's for December. Without further adieu, here are the accumulated HDD's for December 2012 (through yesterday, 12/29) from most to least in Big 10 cities. The numbers in parentheses represent the total CDD's in July 2012.

Minneapolis, MN 1167 (475)
Lincoln, NE 1060 (570)
Madison, WI 988 (455)
Iowa City, IA 950 (537)
East Lansing, MI 891 (403)
Ann Arbor, MI 884 (439)
Evanston, IL 809 (506)
State College, PA 803 (340)
Champaign, IL 784 (488)
West Lafayette, IN 782 (466)
Bloomington,IN 717 (513)
Columbus, OH 705 (488)


 This will be updated at the end of the next two months to see how this list shapes up as we get deeper into the winter. The Twin Cities are almost a lock to finish first but would expect Madison to surpass Lincoln by the end of January. It is also likely that Champaign and West Lafayette will surpass State College within the next few weeks and remain ahead the remainder of the climatological winter. No word on what the prize is for finishing in a certain position but it does seem apparent that the Legends football division is the colder of the two!

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